June 21, 2018

Smaller flight departments will find it easier to meet the requirements of the International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO), thanks in part to recent work between the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) and the NBAA Safety Committee in a push to make the standard more accessible to all operators.

“The process of becoming registered (for IS-BAO) and remaining registered can seem daunting for a smaller business aircraft operator,” said Dr. Dan Boedigheimer, CEO of Advanced AirCrew Academy and head of the NBAA Safety Committee’s Safety Leadership Working Group, one of several NBAA entities that provided input on the new standard. “In Vision 2020, there’s definitely a focus on making implementation scalable to fit each individual flight operation.”

The Vision 2020 standard is available for use after July 1, 2018 and is mandatory after June 30, 2019. IS-BAO Program Director Bennet Walsh called it a major rewrite of the standard, which has been amended in phases over the past 15 years. It is the result of intense study and IBAC’s work with a number of industry focus groups.

“The result is a simplified, streamlined, shorter and scalable standard,” said Walsh. “In the past, the process of meeting the standard was a bit lawyerly and ethereal. Now it’s one process, one output and one culture of safety.”

In creating Vision 2020, Walsh said IBAC interpreted directives from regulatory organizations in a way that establishes a “common core of safety elements,” which were then written to be applicable to flight departments of all sizes.

Boedigheimer said the result is a document that addresses various needs and capabilities of different types of flight operations.

“For instance, an emergency response plan for a large flight department might include coordination with multiple aircraft, facilities, company divisions and even different countries,” he said. “But for a smaller flight department, it would perhaps involve coordination with a single executive and the FBO where the aircraft is based.”

In the fall, Vision 2020 will also include a new generic company operations manual tool that offers step-by-step assistance in creating a manual that is both domestically and internationally compliant for any sized flight operation.